Spiral Stairs, 'The Real Feel' (Matador)

Critical Mass
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by William Goodman

For the first solo album under his nom de tune, Scott Kannberg eschews the catchy cacophony of his earlier bands -- Pavement and Preston School of Industry -- for breezily quirky '70s country-pop and late-'60s psychedelia that's two parts Lindsey Buckingham and one part Roky Erickson. With help from ex-Preston bandmates and members of the Posies, Kannberg scream-talks about puppies on pills ("Maltese Terrier"), phony love on pills ("Stolen Pills"), and poetry...on pills ("Blood Money"). Meet indie rock's Dr. Feelgood.

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